Tax Fraud During a Divorce
How Can I Defend Against Tax Fraud During a Divorce?
Inside the confines of marriage, both spouses confidently trusted in each other to keep secrets and personal information between them. Unfortunately, when the marriage falls apart and results in a divorce, each party is suddenly vulnerable to the other because of the confidential information they shared during the marriage. In the event that either spouse has entrusted the other with details of criminal or less than admirable behavior in years past, these secrets may pose problems in the present.
A classic example that frequently surfaces in contested and rancorous divorce cases is fraud and tax evasion. Tax fraud generally refers to willful violations of the United States Internal Revenue Code (Title 26 of the United States Code) and the specifics of the possible violations are detailed at 26 U.S.C. § 7201 et seq. Conspiracy to commit tax fraud is also treated as an attempt to defraud the United States government and is punishable under the federal criminal code at 18 U.S.C. § 371. Allegations of tax fraud get investigated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in collaboration with the local United States Attorney’s Office.
The most prevalent tax crime is tax evasion, wherein an individual or business intentionally misrepresents taxable income on tax returns in an effort to evade or underpay taxes. Examples of tax evasion include under-declaring income on tax returns, overstating deductions on tax returns, or failing to file tax returns. In reality, most of us make some attempt to minimize our tax exposure and to pay as little taxes as possible, the boundary between smart tax preparation and criminal tax fraud is crossed when, with the intention of evading or getting out of tax obligations, one fails to report or pay the taxes due on reportable income.
Tax evasion and tax fraud are classed as federal felonies under United States law. Tax crimes can be prosecuted criminally, civilly, or both, at the discretion of the federal prosecutor. A civil conviction for tax fraud is punishable by fines of up to $250,000 for individuals and up to $500,000 for corporations. Criminal convictions for tax crimes are punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison. If you are found guilty of tax crimes, you may also be obligated to refund the government for what it cost them to prosecute the case against you.
Often, tax crimes can be tricky to prosecute considering that the government’s lawyers carry the burden of proving that the defendant planned to defraud the government, more than merely demonstrating that the defendant made errors in IRS returns and reports. Yet, during divorce litigation, the trusted confidant, partner and spouse of a defendant could potentially know critical facts that can be divulged to federal investigators that can show beyond the shadow of a doubt that the person willfully and intentionally defrauded the IRS.
Our attorneys at Spodek Law Group have witnessed how one spouse’s intimate acquaintance with the past missteps the other spouse can unquestionably impact divorce outcomes, custody decisions, and even the other spouses’ means of survival. Through our experience in assisting professionals and individual clients in their battles against crime accusations in divorce proceedings, we are well aware of the importance of not underestimating an allegation of criminal conduct or threat of criminal allegations.
We Can Defend You Against Tax Fraud
No matter whether you and your spouse filed joint or separate tax returns annually, the attorneys of Spodek Law Group do not take tax fraud allegations lightly and you shouldn’t either. Oftentimes, we represent clients who are accused of federal offences such as tax fraud and tax evasion, our lawyers also have experience prosecuting this category of offenses in our previous careers as prosecutors with the Department of Justice. Based on our experience, we know that it is paramount that you hire qualified federal criminal defense attorneys the moment you become aware of an allegation against you, even if you do not feel that the allegation is legitimate.
If you have learned that an allegation or the threat of a tax fraud allegation has been made against you, you should make it your business to contact Spodek Law Group for a free and confidential consultation. Our criminal defense specialists are available and eager to speak with you about your case seven days a week and you will not be held at bay by secretaries or junior attorneys.